The Retro Freak brings all your old game cartridges into one place.

Claire Reilly/CNET

As any geek will tell you, the coolest people are collectors, especially if your habit extends to collecting retro games.

Collecting the bulky consoles is another matter.

But one gadget at Computex in Taiwan is throwing a lifeline to collectors (while surely thumbing its nose to any concept of copyright and intellectual property).

The Retro Freak is a nifty little console that will provide a home for all your favourite old games, with slots for well-loved cartridges and an 80s-perfect controller to boot.

It promises a bunch of features that certainly weren’t around in the 80s:

  • HDMI connectivity
  • 720p upscaling
  • Display filter to smooth out pixelated edges
  • In-machine game saving (via SD card)
  • Support for USB controllers such as PS3/PS4
  • Supports NES, SNES, Famicom, Super Famicom, Genesis, Sega Megadrive (with converter), Game Boy (Original, Color and Advance), Turbo Grafx-16, PC Engine and PC Engine Super Grafx

Just pop in your SNES edition of Super Mario Kart, plug the Retro Freak into your TV’s HDMI port and you can recreate the experience of your youth, right down to the vintage-look scan lines on the screen that give those games a their real arcade flavour.

The interface is a little spare, but you can change your game’s appearance by toggling features such as those scan lines on and off. You can also change the display filter to smooth out pixelated lines and adjust the refresh rate from what the original game demanded up to 60Hz — all to make the games adjust a little more easily to modern TVs.

Mario is back on the big screen.

Claire Reilly/CNET

And purists, block your ears: You can also use the cheat function to play games on “invincible mode” with the maximum amount of money or lives.

It’s worth noting that the Retro Freak makes a lot of claims in its glossy brochure that we didn’t get a chance to check out in our short demo. And the console isn’t distributed in the US yet, though it’s available in Asia for 20,000 yen (roughly $180, AUD $250 and £125) with Australian distribution reportedly coming soon.

But the picture certainly looked the part, and had me dreaming of the old Mario tournaments I devoted hours to in my earlier years. It’s a great way to get the feel for your favourites, especially if the consoles are long gone.

Just don’t tell the lawyers.

Check out all the news from Computex 2016 here.

Original article: 

A console that lets you play all your old game cartridges in one place? Let's-a-go! – CNET